Newspaper: Gov't Will Have to Increase Teachers' Salaries by 6%?

By 19 December 2020
Newspaper: Gov't Will Have to Increase Teachers' Salaries by 6%?
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ZAGREB, Dec 19, 2020 - The Supreme Court has dismissed a motion to review a Zagreb County Court ruling in favour of a Geology Institute employee who sued her employer over the non-payment of a base pay rise under an agreement dating back to the Ivo Sanader cabinet, Jutarnji List reported on Saturday.

This means the state risks being sued by many public sector employees which would cost the budget by over HRK 2 billion if the government does not reach an agreement with the unions which have already filed pilot lawsuits, all of which have been ruled in their favour, the daily said.

The pilot lawsuits have been filed over the non-payment of a 6% base pay rise in 2016 to which the Sanader cabinet committed in 2006. The global financial crisis followed, and the government and unions agreed in 2011 that the base pay would rise by 6% annually when GDP increased by 2% or more year on year over two consecutive quarters.

Said increase occurred in 2015, yet the government and the State Bureau of Statistics claimed that the GDP increase had not gone up by 2% but that, for the first time, they rounded it up to four decimals and that the increase was therefore 1.9998%.

That was when the first pilot lawsuits were filed. The Preporod union claims that 400 have been ruled in workers' favour and that 170,000 public sector employees could eventually benefit from this. Courts have awarded them amounts ranging from HRK 5,500 to 9,000.

On September 3, the education ministry ordered schools to initiate reviews if they lost the lawsuits. The ministry's position is that the prerequisites for applying the 2006 agreement were not met, given that it stipulates the deferral of the rise by as many quarters as GDP decreased, and that the rise therefore should have occurred only in January 2019, the newspaper said.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)